Humboldt B52s’ pitcher Tommy Gale high-fives a few teammates following a pair of strikeouts to end the top of the eighth inning and preserve a 2-1 lead, Saturday evening at Bomber Field. The B52s would go on to beat the visiting Redding Ringtails 3-2. (Andrew Butler — Times-Standard)
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When Humboldt B52s’ manager Scott. St. John was asked what he thought of starting pitcher Tommy Gale’s complete-game, 143-pitch win he said, grinning, “I thought it was the 1970’s again, it’s rare for a guy to do that today.”

In the 70’s or in 2019, a performance like the one Gale put forth is a hard one for an opposing team to overcome, and such was the case Saturday evening as the B52s edged out the visiting Redding Ringtails 3-2 at Bomber Field.

Gale finished with 12 strikeouts while giving up two earned runs on seven hits and three walks. The other half of Saturday’s pitching duel, Gabe Rojas, put together a good outing despite the loss. The Ringtails’ pitcher stayed on for a complete game as well, throwing 110 pitches and giving up three earned runs on 10 hits, four strikeouts and no walks.

Suffice to say, Saturday evening may as well have been deemed “old fashioned baseball night” at the home of the B52s.

But there was offensive highlights Saturday night in between stretches of brilliance from both pitchers.

The B52s seized an early lead in the bottom of the first inning after Braeden Holliday sent a booming home run over the left field wall. The homer, a two-run shot, put the home team ahead 2-0.

Gale carried a shutout through seven innings before the Ringtails, thanks to an RBI ground-rule double off the bat of Jordan Taylor, snuck a run in to cut the B52s’ lead to one. The ground-rule double served the B52s well, however. With two men on the Ringtails likely would have scored two off of Taylor’s hit but instead had to settle for one.

The batter following Taylor, Ronaldo Tijero, singled with two men on but B52s’ catcher Matt Mascio saved a run, stretching to tag out a Ringtails’ runner at home on a laser of a throw from the short stop, Karter Koch.

Humboldt B52s’ catcher Matt Mascio tags out a Redding Ringtails runner at home to keep the B52s ahead 2-1. (Andrew Butler — Times-Standard)

Gale, with men on second and third and only one out recorded, finished off the inning with two consecutive strikeouts, his final two of the night.

The B52s extended their lead in the bottom of the eighth after Jacob Smith, a 2018 McKinleyville High graduate, connected on an RBI double which scored Koch — who doubled to get on right before Smith’s at-bat — and put the home team ahead 3-1.

The Ringtails added another run in the top of the ninth before B52s’ center-fielder Eric Smelko got his glove under a moon-shot of a fly ball to end the game.

The B52s (6-4), now 2-0 against the Ringtails, will try and clinch a series sweep today at 12:05 p.m., at Bomber Field.

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